Getting through the school year can be stressful for both kids and parents. The emotional aspect of divorce could increase your children’s stress, particularly if your separation happened over the summer break or more recently.
We are also facing the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted kids during the 2020 school year. Many had to transition very quickly into remote learning and acclimate to homeschooling. Some are still dealing with this while others may be faced by the challenges of transitioning back to in-person learning this fall.
One of the very best ways to help your children through all the changes is to provide the security that despite your separation, you both love them and are committed to their happiness. With proper thought and planning, there’s no reason they can’t thrive during their first school year after your divorce. The following are some tips for divorced parents that can benefit their children.
Our Top Three
- Communicate: Take the guesswork out of what will be happening now that you and your ex are living apart by explaining the new order of things in detail. Avoid having the kids carry messages back and forth between their parents. For their sake, set aside issues you’re having with one another, and keep the lines of communication open regarding their needs. A good working relationship between the two of you will help ease the tension the kids may be feeling about the upcoming changes.
- Coordinate: Homework and school projects, parent-teacher conferences, school lunches, field trips and permission slips are all things you may have not worried about in the past. Now they will require deliberate coordination with your spouse to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Be consistent by agreeing on schedules they will keep at both homes and make a list of items that must travel back and forth with them such as schoolbooks. Setting expectations and routines will help them feel a sense of security.
- Plan ahead: If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that we need to plan for all eventualities. This approach is also useful with regard to how you plan to handle co-parenting. Have plans in place on everything from how you will handle the cost of school lunches to who will chaperone field trips to how you will accomplish remote learning at home, should the schools close again.
When You Need More Help
The school year can be difficult after a divorce but taking the time to coordinate with your ex will help your children through the transition. For some parents co-parenting is easy. For others additional help may be needed. The attorney’s at Buncher Family Law have been handling such situations for years and can assist you and your spouse with options that will work for your family. Coordinating legal issues between you, such as drawing up or altering a child custody agreement, is not something you should approach on your own. Family law attorneys are experts in the field and will help you arrive at an agreement that is fair, legal, and binding. They can also give you outside resources to further assist.